The PC market suffered a disappointing first quarter, with two analysts reporting worldwide shipments of desktops and laptops were down around 30% compared to the same period last year.
IDC reported that shipments dropped 29% to 56.9 million units, while Canalys calculated a 32.6% drop to 54 million units. All of the major manufacturers were hit by double digit drops, but Apple appears to be the worst affected.
Apple shipments were down 40.5% according to IDC and 45.5% in Canalys research. Both companies also estimated Apple had lost market share worth between 1 and 2 percentage points.
The drop in shipments has been attributed partly to the end of an explosion in demand from the past two years, driven by people working at home during the pandemic. But the figures have now dropped below pre-pandemic levels and it’s clear other factors are in play. Border economic uncertainty and rising interest rates have also been cited.
Apple previously reported a 29% drop in shipments during its latest earning call, which covered the final quarter of 2022. During that call the company warned sales would “decline substantially.” Now it seems clear that the drop is affecting the whole industry.
IDC and Canalys suggest in their reports that demand will rise in the second half of 2023 and 2024. “By 2024, an aging installed base will start coming up for refresh,” said IDC’s Linn Huang. “If the economy is trending upwards by then, we expect significant market upside as consumers look to refresh, schools seek to replace worn down Chromebooks, and businesses move to Windows 11.”
However, he added that if a recession in key markets dragged into next year, the recovery for the industry could be a “slog.”